It’s exciting to have multiple agile teams and departments. But what good is agile development without collaboration between those teams? Your overall goals and processes could break down if various teams and departments don’t know how to communicate and synergize with each other effectively.
Agile software development places a high value on face-to-face interactions between individuals, which can seem difficult with remote workers, far-flung departments, or an agile nearshore software development team. But if you want to collaborate well, we have solutions. Look over the eight tips below to unlock the potential of your teams.
1. Use Real-Time Technology Tools
This includes programs like Microsoft Teams, WebEx, or Zoom for live meetings, Slack for organized text messages, and Google Drive for sharing and co-editing documents. These easy-to-use tools enable instant interactions with others, even if they are in a faraway, offshore software development team.
2. Avoid Departmental Silos
When departments keep data and processes internal, forcing other departments to work hard or put in extra effort to get critical data from them, those are silos. Build your agile teams with members from different departments, naturally avoiding silos.
3. Set Collaboration Goals (and Rewards)
Set up specific, measurable collaboration goals to encourage teams to work together. Let employees choose rewards that are meaningful to them, which they will receive when they meet a difficult goal. Announce winners, and talk about what they did to succeed.
4. Identify Silos and Choke Points
Perform a study of how various teams interact. Map the interactions on paper. Find where communication breaks down between particular departments or between the home office and remote teams (as examples). Also, look for overworked individuals who are coordinating more than their fair share of communication—who would cause communication breakdown if they took a day off. Work to correct the most urgent of these collaboration problems.
5. Use Visual Aids
If you’re in the same building, use a Scrum board to quickly show with sticky notes who is working on what. With remote workers, such as nearshore agile software development teams, you can plan on software like Trello or VersionOne, which helps to visually track progress.
6. Build a Culture of Trust
Employees are better able to collaborate when they trust their leaders and each other. Without trust, employees are afraid to contribute new ideas, and some employees feel left out. It takes consistent effort to create an enduring culture in which everyone feels safe to contribute.
7. Create Connections to External Stakeholders
Create a habit of interacting with external stakeholders, such as clients, professional associations, and suppliers. Identify your well-connected employees, and have them build these external relationships. This helps teams to re-focus on the most important features of their projects.
8. Help Employees Gain More Time
Some employees avoid or forget collaboration simply because they’re busy. Give them more time by:
- Having them set aside hours in their calendars for brainstorming, reflection, and collaboration
- Updating their duties
- Following best practices of efficiency for meetings
- Lowering the amount of email they must answer
Ready for a Nearshore Agile Software Development Team?
If you need an additional agile team, you may have thought about offshore software development outsourcing. But have you thought about nearshore outsourcing? Our agile teams live in countries with similar time zones and cultures to yours. We speak English. We use agile methodologies.
Using effective collaboration tools, Excel SoftSources can quickly integrate our team into your workflow and help you get your projects done more efficiently and effectively. You might not really know what the benefits of agile software development are until you add a low-cost nearshore team to the mix.